After some really average form for Manchester United over the last few years we are usually loathe to praise Ashley Young in any way.
We really thought he would be sold in the summer. But credit where it’s due. Young has been excellent under the tutelage of Louis van Gaal – it’s like he has seen the new lease of life.
Certain managers just work well with certain players and Young is thriving under the Dutchman.
If he does stay at Manchester United in the medium term then he will surely remain in a more defensive role. He simply doesn’t have the guile or ability to be a really top drawer winger for the club. But in defence, or as a wing back, his athleticism comes into play and he gets up and down that line as well as anyone in the league.
We do still feel however that when Luke Shaw recovers from his current injury that he will walk straight back into the side.
Young has been playing well but he always seems to cut back onto his right foot and rarely trusts his left. Against Stoke there were a few occasions when the strikers were crying out for an early cross from Young. But he opted to cut back which wasted time and ultimately lead to missed opportunities.
Luke Shaw not only has a brilliant left foot but has more pace and more of a football brain than Young. When he comes back into the side we will see much more natural balance in the team – and hopefully some earlier passing and crossing when the central players are in space.
We have eaten our words to an extent about Young. He’s a good understudy for Shaw. But he’s not a patch on the £27m man.
Manchester United fans: would you like to keep Young?